November 2010 - The government introduced the National Reform Strategy 2010 to decrease the administrative burden on companies, support their competitiveness, and ease the establishment of new companies.
November 2010 - The new wholesale centre METRO Cash & Carry was opened in Devínska Nová Ves. Investment into the construction of the complex, which began in July 2010, reached €26.5 million.
November 2010 - Slovakia’s Way Industries, producer of the Božena mine clearance vehicle, doubled its production and announced plans to hire new employees. The company signed a three-year contract with a Japanese producer of industrial and shipping engines, Yanmar, which promised to bring new investment into the company.
November 2010 - Slovakia was to receive a record loan from the European Investment Bank – up to €1.3 billion. The money was to be used by state-run companies, offices or municipalities to ease access to credit for the construction of roads, railways, information systems and flood protection.
November 2010 - Construction of the D1 Outlet retail centre officially started on the premises of a logistics park adjacent to the D1 highway between Senec and Pezinok, with the first phase to include 50 brand name shops on about 8,500 square metres. When completed, over three phases, the outlet centre will cover 25,000 square metres.
November 2010 - During her visit to New York, Prime Minister Iveta Radičová met with almost 20 representatives of the American investment and financial community, including managers from Morgan Stanley, Honeywell, Elderson Technology Partners, Credit Suisse Securities and Nomura Holding America. They were informed about the government’s measures to support economic growth and attract foreign investment to the country.
December 2010 - German automotive company Volkswagen announced plans to extend the production of car components in their Martin-based company. Investment in the construction of new production halls was expected to create 400 new working positions.
Year-end 2010 - The Slovak Statistics Office reported that for all of 2010, Slovakia’s GDP increased year-on-year in fixed price terms by 4 percent.
Year-end 2010 - The Inforeg information system, a database about certified buildings, listed 9,342 energy certificates. The energy certificates evaluate the energy efficiency of a building and most of the certified buildings were in Trnava and Bratislava regions.
January 2011 - Basic VAT increased by 1 percentage point to 20 percent, while the reduced VAT of 6 percent on foodstuffs sold directly from farms was eliminated and such products were taxed at the full rate.
January 2011 - The Constitutional Court delivered two major rulings. One pertained to the legislation passed by the previous government prohibiting private health insurers from paying dividends to their shareholders or deciding what to do with their profits – the court ruled that it violated Slovakia’s constitution. In the second case the Constitutional Court also ruled that an amendment to Slovakia’s highway construction legislation that permitted the state to begin building highways on privately-owned land before the land expropriation process is completed – also the work of the previous government – was unconstitutional.
February 2011 - Deutsche Telekom confirmed its intention to invest several million euros in Slovakia. The company announced that it planned to build a new financial services centre that was to employ 500 people.
February 2011 - The company PointPark Properties announced that it would expand its logistics park in Lozorno by another 110,000 square metres. The investment should include the construction of new logistic halls which should be finished in 2014 and which are to create 450 new jobs.
March 2011 - The Goodman Group began building a production and warehouse complex in an industrial zone near Košice airport, with more than 21,000 square metres of space at a cost of €16 million.
March 2011 - Economy Minister Juraj Miškov, together with the Trade Development Agency (SARIO), travelled to the US in a bid to encourage foreign investors to come to Slovakia. During his meeting with US Deputy Under-Secretary for International Trade Michelle O’Neill he said that American companies would like to take part in the completion of a proposed new nuclear power plant at Jaslovské Bohunice, located in Trnava Region.
March 2011 - The government passed the privatisation of six heating plants.
March 2011 - The government decided to lease Letisko M. R. Štefánika – Bratislava Airport – to a concessionaire for a period of 30 years. The process to find an investor to lease the country’s biggest airport should be completed by summer 2012.
April 2011 - The European Commission accepts an extension of restrictions on the acquisition of agricultural and forest land by EU nationals until 2014, meaning that non-Slovaks will not be permitted to buy agricultural land in Slovakia before May 2014 but that EU companies can continue to purchase agricultural land without restrictions if it is used for agriculture.
April 2011 - US company Hewlett Packard announced that it plans to hire 650 new employees, primarily IT specialists, who were to start working for the company’s service centre.
April 2011 - French car manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroën confirmed an investment of over €120
million in the production of a new car model, the third to date, in its Trnava plant, that will increase the plant’s labour force by almost 900.
May 2011 - A new gas power plant in Malženice in Trnava Region was ceremonially opened on May 16. The combined-cycle power station will produce 3 billion kWh of electricity per year. Construction work on the plant took 26 months, with total investment reaching €400 million. The facility is the largest power plant built by E.ON in Slovakia in recent years.
May 2011 - Approximately 500 new jobs will soon come to Stará Turá in Nové Mesto nad Váhom district as the Elster company, a producer of gas meters and water gauges, plans to build a new assembly hall on its premises at a cost of €5 million.
May 2011 - Bekaert, a global company with headquarters in Belgium that has been operating in Slovakia for 10 years, opened an expanded facility in Sládkovičovo. The expansion provided the facility with a standard manufacturing platform and vastly increased its production capacity, bringing Bekaert’s aggregate investment in Slovakia to €240 million.
June 2011 - Boxperfect, a company from Essex in the UK, launched production in its new plant in the village of Kojšov in Gelnica manufacturing gift and presentation boxes for the retail trade.
June 2011 - Slovak Telekom officially began operations at its new data centre in Bratislava, which involved an investment exceeding €15 million.
June 2011 - A recent investment project by Austrian companies in Slovakia is Bioenergie, completed in June 2011 (and in March 2010), worth €60 million. The project involved two biomass power plants, one in Bardejov and one in Topoľčany.
June 2011 - AU Optronics, a Taiwanese company and one of the biggest investors to come to Slovakia over the past few years, opened its biggest European plant in Trenčín. The investment reached €184 million.
July 2011 - The developer TriGranit decided to build a second Polus Shopping Centre in Prešov – a wholly new green-field project. Future TriGranit plans also include a shopping-entertainment centre in Košice where the emphasis – unlike in classical shopping centres - would be put on services rather than goods.
July 2011 - A new law that became effective on July 1, 2011 curbed subsidised construction of solar power stations. The change in the law was initiated by the Economy Ministry to halt the boom in the construction of subsidised photovoltaic power stations on arable land after finding that subsidising solar power was increasing electricity prices for end-users. The law restricts feed-in tariff subsidies to small solar power stations with an installed capacity of less than 100 kW that are mounted on roofs or walls of existing buildings. In mid-2011, over 800 solar facilities with an aggregate installed capacity of 478 MW were operating in the country.
First half of 2011 - The Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) sealed investments worth €259.5 million in the first half of 2011, which could give rise to 1,500 new jobs. In the same period of 2010 the agency secured eight investments that were valued at €35.22 million and were seen as having the potential to create 500 new jobs. The largest volume of investment is destined for the automotive industry, including suppliers of a variety of car components.
Second quarter of 2011 - Growth in the Slovak economy in the second quarter of 2011 slowed to 3.3 percent, from its previous 3.5 percent in Q1. Slovakia’s Statistics Office ascribed the results to growth in foreign demand being counterbalanced by a decline in domestic demand.
August 2011 - Honeywell, a US-based company, chose eastern Slovakia for a new factory, starting construction work on the facility. The plant will manufacture turbochargers for passenger cars and trucks on a five-hectare plot in the IPZ Prešov-Záborské industrial park. Honeywell will invest €38.3 million and employ nearly 450 people in the plant’s first phase.
August 2011 - Amazon.com officially opened its sales support centre in Bratislava. The company plans to create more than 200 new jobs in Slovakia by the end of 2012. The new centre will facilitate trade negotiations with the aim of helping Amazon's merchants to be more successful. The goods they sell represent 30 percent of all orders carried out on Amazon's website.
August 2011 - Portuguese developer Mota-Engil finished the Platinum tower at the crossroads of Gagarinova and Mierová Streets. The second residential tower of the “Pearl of Ružinov” project received official approval, meaning that inhabitants can now move in. The tower is 16 storeys tall and comprises 96 flats of different sizes. The first “Pearl of Ružinov” tower was completed in
April; in total there should be five towers in this area, encompassing the plot where the Mountfield and other shops are currently located. However, the development of the market will determine the future fate of this locality.
August 2011 - Esin Group, competitor of the bankrupt Leef Slovakia (whose parent company was the developer British Letterstone) offered disappointed Leef clients the option of lowering their financial losses if they decided to buy properties from Esin. Leef collected around €2 million from 142 clients for the luxury apartment complex Silver Resort in Tatranská Lomnica in the High Tatras, but it cited the global crisis as the reason for its insolvency. First it slowed the development, and later stopped construction entirely. VÚB Banka cancelled the loan contract with Leef and said it planned to offer the plots in a public auction. The bereft clients were approached by Esin Group and offered rebates in the residential projects Apartmány Lomnica and Rezidences Kukučka.
August 2011 - The Slovak arm of the German carmaker Volkswagen launched recruitment of new staff for the production of Volkswagen's new Up! model, a project worth over €300 million. The first examples of Volkswagen's new Up! model should go on sale in Slovakia in early 2012.
August 2011 - Hansol, a Korean producer of components for television sets, terminated production of back lights and LCM panels in its plant in Voderady, near Trnava, laying off more than 1,400 people.
September 2011 - The amended Labour Code came into effect. Employers perceive it to be a step towards making the legislative framework governing relations between employers and employees more flexible, even though their expectations were originally higher. Trade unions are dissatisfied with the law, arguing that employers will mainly use the new code to get rid of employees rather than hire new ones. The changes introduced include cancellation of parallel entitlement to a layoff notice period and severance pay; longer periods for fixed-term employment; a longer layoff notification period for employees with long service in the same job; and greater protection for mothers and pregnant women, among others.
September 2011 - Kia Motors Slovakia launched production of petrol engines at its new plant in Teplička nad Váhom (Žilina Region). The €100 million investment boosts production capacity from 300,000 to 450,000 engines per year, with 270 jobs being created.
September 2011 - Gas-storage company Nafta wrapped up the second, most important, phase of construction of a new gas storage facility near the villages of Láb and Gajary, in Bratislava Region. On September 6 it ceremonially launched a control centre for the new facility. The €166-million Gajary-Báden project is set to increase Nafta’s gas storage capacities to 2.5 billion cubic metres by 2014.
October 2011 - A new paint shop for car bodies of the New Small Family series, Up!, was opened in the Bratislava plant of Volkswagen. The company invested €100 million in the facility.
October 2011 - The Belgian company LVD invested a further €9 million in the south-Slovak town of Tornaľa, opening a new plant there. Head of the new branch Alexander Szaszi said that the key factor determining future expansion of the investment was the availability of labour. The opening means at least partial reduction of unemployment in a region where it reaches almost 20 percent.
October 2011 - All three of Slovakia’s state railway companies continued their revitalisation programmes despite the fall of the Iveta Radičová government. Together, the companies have so far laid off over 3,000 employees from an aggregate total of 31,000. The layoffs are part of an extensive plan to stabilise the finances of all three railway companies that was adopted by the Iveta Radičová cabinet on March 16. In addition to the dismissal of thousands of employees, the revitalisation plan envisages passenger routes being reduced and a strategic partner being found for freight operator Cargo.
October 2011 - 46 kilometres of a new dual carriageway connecting Nitra with Tekovské Nemce were ceremonially opened after a one-month delay. This is the first tangible product of a controversial public-private partnership (PPP) project used to construct road infrastructure in Slovakia. It took Granvia, the concessionaire, 26 months to build the section at the cost of €800 million.
October 2011 - Slovakia Steel Mills, a new steel mill site near the town of Strážske, whose construction cost €240 million and which plans to produce up to 800,000 tons of steel a year, completed its trial operation.
October 2011 - Outlooks for Slovakia’s GDP growth continued to worsen. In October's round of the central bank's regular poll, banks in Slovakia projected 2012 GDP growth at 1.9 percent in annual terms, down from September's 2.7 percent and July's 4.3 percent.
October 2011 - Parliament finally passed a law on toxic environmental burdens, hailed by Environment Minister József Nagy as the law of the decade. The objective of the bill is to define the originator of an environmental burden in line with the “polluter pays” principle. If the originator is unknown or has ceased to exist, the law sets a mechanism that will define a responsible person who will have to handle the environmental burden. The cost for remediation of existing environmental burdens is estimated at €487 million between 2010 and 2027.
October 2011 - The government of Iveta Radičová was brought down by the refusal of Freedom and Solidarity to support changes to the European bailout mechanism, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), on October 11. Afterwards three parties from the former ruling coalition – the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Most-Híd – agreed with the biggest parliamentary party, the opposition Smer, to hold an early parliamentary election on March 10. Parliament approved the enlargement of the bailout scheme for the eurozone on October 13.
October 2011 - The unemployment rate rose to 13.37 percent in September, the highest rate since 2005.
The number of unemployed Slovaks grew by 0.25 percentage points month-on-month in September 2011 to exceed more than 390,500 job seekers.
November 2011 - Železničná Spoločnosť Slovensko (ZSSK), Slovakia’s passenger railway company, increased fares by almost 10 percent on average as of November 1 to take account of higher costs, inflation and higher VAT.
More information about Slovak business environment you can find in our Investment Advisory Guide.
14. Nov 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by J.Liptáková, Z. Vilikovská and R. Minarechová Spectator staff